This devotional guide prepares the reader for the October 30 sermon, “Once You Were Zombies,” our Halloween sermon for the season. The sermon is actually a serious look at the way Paul described the life of an individual devoid of Christ’s work and presence. Clip the guide and place it on your desktop for easy access during the week.
Weekly Scripture Readings:
Monday, October 24. Read Ezekiel 37:1-14. 1) What did the Lord show Ezekiel in a valley? 2) What did Ezekiel do that changed what he saw? 3) What do you think are the implications of tis vision for us today?
Tuesday, October 25. Read Colossians 2:11-15. 1) What happens, according to Paul, when a person is baptized? 2) What is a person’s condition before Christ has done his work in that person’s life? 3) What does Christ do with the “charges” that we have against us?
Wednesday, October 26. Read Titus 2:3-8. In this passage Paul gives Titus instructions to pass on to the church he pastored. 1) How does he tell them to live? 2) In what ways was this different than the way they may have lived in the past?
Thursday, October 27. Read Ephesians 4:17-24. 1) How do “the Gentiles” live? 2) What causes that? 3) How does knowing Christ change things?
Friday, October 28. Read Romans 2:1-5. 1) What does Paul say about the human condition in verse 1? 2) What is the character of God, and what does it teach us? 3) What happens to those who refuse to change?
Saturday, October 29. Read Ephesians 2:1-10. This is Sunday’s sermon text.
Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Weekly Devotional Article:
by Phil Ware
We live in a day that discounts the power of evil. Our world can talk about it when people fly planes into skyscrapers killing thousands or when they blow themselves up on subways, busses, and beside mosques killing and maiming dozens. Those clear acts of evil are readily and publicly denounced. Somehow, however, we suffer an unfortunate and dangerous disconnect in the Christian community between sin and evil. We have opted for the modernist preacher’s definition of sin — “missing the mark” — and separated sin from the power of evil and lure of the evil one – the point of view and grave concern of the New Testament witnesses.
Grace was given to us to rescue us from this power, not to give us a free pass to piddle with sin and become entrapped by Satan’s power once again. Jude reminds us about this distortion when he says:
To each believer’s ear;
That peace with God through Christ is found
Is news I gladly hear.
In God’s eternal book,
And grace has brought me to the Lamb,
Who all my sorrows took.
To tread the heav’nly road,
And grace supplies each hour
I meet While pressing on to God.
And made my eyes o’erflow;
His grace has kept me to this day
And will not let me go.
Through everlasting days;
The heav’nly home God gives his own
Shall echo with our praise.